VHG Maidstone, Essex County, Vt.

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church. Of this number 32 were received in 1858, as the fruits of the well-remembered and extensive revival with which the churches were graciously visited at that time. The whole number of names enrolled on the church records is 348—males 132.

The church was a beneficiary of the Ver­mont Domestic Missionary Society, until within three years. It is now self-sustaining, although by no means pecuniarily strong.

 

MY FATHER AND HIS OLD MEETING‑HOUSE.

 

BY ELIZA D. W. PARSON,

 

Daughter of Rev. John Willard, first settled minister of Lunenburgh.

 

Backward receding thought, with pensive, humid eye,

Counts o'er the buds that strewed the paths of days gone by,

And doating memory's tears, their faded tints renew,

As withered roses wake besprint with evening dews.

 

Oh! childhood bath its dreams of loveliness and light,

And youth its golden hopes of undefined delight;

But aye, amid these groups, baptized with fancy's fire

That thronged my gay, young soul, thine image shone, my sire.

 

I love to thread the maze of long-remembered things,

And touch those filial notes that thrilled my heart's soft strings;

A child upon thy knees, I list thy lullaby,

And watch the tender smile that lights thy lip and eye.

 

Onward, in riper years, I wander by thy side,

Where fragrant wild flowers gleam, and silver waters glide,

The chanting of soft winds or carrols of bright birds

Are not so sweet to me as my bland father's words.

 

Now in the forest cot I see the joining hands,

Entwining blessings rich, with hallowed nuptial bands;

Or, noiseless kneeling down, beside the couch of death,

Thy whispered prayers ascend with life's last gasping breath.

 

I seek thy mouldering home, now level with green earth,

And stand upon that stone that formed thy humble hearth;

The walls around me rise, thy table and arm chair,

Thy books of solemn lore, thy chastened looks, thy prayer.

 

But most I love to haunt, this lonely ancient pile,

That makes the scoffer jest, and breeds his idiot smile,

For here sweet phantoms float before my spirit's eye,

With shapes, and hues, and tones like dear reality.

 

Within that rude old desk, with swinging canopy,

I see thee stretch thy hand and raise thy suppliant eye,

Heaven's melting masses move—the angel-dove descends,

And with thine earnest voice its purest treasure blends.

 

'Twas not for thee to rend fond nature's precious ties,

Or chill with savage fear her dearest sympathies;

Oh! no, my sainted sire, a holier task was thine

To pour o'er broken hearts unpurchased oil and wine.

 

I view a glittering font—within a crystal tide—

And infant faces gleam, that limped wave beside;

As on their snowy brows thou fling'st the radiant drops,

Thy dewy eyelids show thy tender fears and hopes.

 

Again these visions change—I see a table spread,

And thou the serving-one, dispensing wine and bread

Like Him of Sinai's cliffs, who wore the glow divine,—

With peace, with love, with joy, thy kindled features shine.

 

Once more in sable garbs, I see a mourning crowd

Surround the coffined dead, with sore affliction bowed,

And thou with flooded eyes, to soothe that stormy grief,

Dost glean rich healing balm from off the sacred leaf.

 

What fills the picture scene? 'Tis yonder circling throng,

Where youth and beauty chant the ancient holy song,—

Pleased if their pastor's glance their rustic strains approve,

That wake his listening soul to thanks, to praise, to love.

 

From out these shattered panes thy resting place I view,

Hoary with snowy trees, or might with rain and dew;

In that deserted aisle they placed thy lifeless clay,

Through these discolored doors they bore thy bier away.

 

Father! thy work is done—to thee this house is nought,

Bright is thy dwelling-place, 'mid temples spirit-wrought;

It is for me to mourn the ruin sad and drear,

That hangs on every scene thy presence rendered dear.

 

Adieu! thou time-worn dome, thou venerable bond,

That tiest me to the past with links of feeling strong;

Thou too must pass away—to-morrow's sunset beam

Will e'er thy prostrate walls and naked basement stream.

 

Thy lethean doom decreed, thou monument of all,

A pastor's faithful love, or parent's worth must fall!

Be still, my throbbing heart,—within thy crimson cell

There are more memories grand than pyramids could tell!

 

 

————————————

 

MAIDSTONE.

 

BY HON. MOODY RICH.

 

Maidstone was chartered by Gov. Went­worth, of New Hampshire, under George III., Oct. 12, 1761; bounded N. by Brunswick, S. by Guildhall, E. by Connecticut river, W. by Granby and Ferdinand; containing, as chartered, 25,000 acres.

The proprietors under the N. H. grants immediately proceeded to organize their pro­prietary body, after the granting of said charter, and the first meeting was held at the house of Elisha Mills, in Stratford, Ct., on the 2nd Tuesday of November, 1761; and at a meeting of the proprietors at the same place as above, held Aug. 17, 1762, it was decided to get the township of Maidstone surveyed and laid out—and William Emmes, Thomas French and John Yates were ap­pointed the committee, and to receive for their

 

 

 

 

 

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services 7s 6d per day while on that service, they bearing the expenses of themselves and horses; but all other charges necessary to prosecute said affair to be borne by the pro­prietors—and £66 were raised by vote of the proprietors to defray the expense of the sur­vey. Under this vote the township was first located.

This comprises all that was done towards the promotion of the settlement of this town, so far as I have been able to ascertain, before the difficulty arose under the conflicting grants from New Hampshire and New York. This difficulty, however, was never carried to act­ual hostilities in these eastern townships as it was in the western—as there never were any claimants or settlers under the New York grants in these northeastern townships.

The following minutes, from the proprietors' records, comprises the whole history of this conflict of grants as far as it relates to this town particularly:

 

In 1764 the king of Great Britain annexed the townships west of Connecticut river, which had prior to that time been supposed to belong to the province of New Hampshire, and had been granted to proprietors by the governor of that province.

The grantees of Maidstone appointed Capt. John Brooks their agent, to meet with other agents in New York, to make application to his excellency the governor of New York, for new grants of said township, under the seal of New York. At a proprietors' meeting, November 10, 1766, the question was raised whether they would agree to pursue the plan laid by the agents who convened at New York on the 13th day of the preceding Octo­ber, with respect to the townships patented by the governor of New Hampshire on the west side of Connecticut river, in order to obtain of the king's majesty a confirmation of said grants?—which passed in the affirm­ative, and Agur Tomlinson, Esq. was chosen agent, to meet with other agents at the house of Friend Benj. Ferris, at the Oblong, on the 26th day of November, then inst. And at an adjourned meeting, held the 2nd day of the next December, the proprietors heard the report of their agent from the Oblong, and it was agreed to pay for each whole right or share 4s. New York currency, towards defray­ing the charges of carrying a petition home to Great Britain, to His Majesty King George III., for a confirmation of their rights.

The last proprietors' meeting, which was held in Connecticut, was April 1, 1779, at Ripton, from the record of which we take the following:

 

"Whereas we have appointed Mr. Nehe­miah De Forest our agent to go up to the governor of Vermont, with a petition, in the name of said proprietors, for his sanction, protection and direction in laying out and settling said township.

N. B. We received an answer from the governor of Vermont by our agent, Mr. De Forest, to this purpose: That the grants of the several townships given by Gov. Went­worth, or the N. H. grants, were held sacred and that their assembly would soon proceed to take proper steps that the same should be suryeyed and located."

The further particulars of this controversy it is unnecessary to state here, as they have been written in every complete history of New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont. The grantees of Maidstone were all Connecticut men, and none of them ever became settlers of the town, which proved a serious obstacle to its early settlement, as all who desired to purchase lands were obliged to go to Connecticut or New York for that purpose. This difficulty was removed by proprietary meetings, held by proxy in the town after the year 1779—by the allotment of the lands in 1786, and by the appointment of agents of the original proprietors resident in the vicinity.

Another great hindrance to the settlement of the country was the long distance which provisions and other necessaries of life had to be transported through the wilderness. At the time the first settlements were made here the nearest place where provisions could be procured, grain ground, or a horse shod, was at Haverhill, N. H., 50 miles down the river; and if the freight could not be brought on horseback, the journey must be made on the river, as the best road was a bridle path marked by spotted trees.

I have often heard the early settlers say, "They must have starved, during the long winters, if it had not been for the wild game they caught."

At present we value the beautiful Connecticut river—the name of which is derived from two Indian words that signify "long river"—for the richness of the soil of its interval lands lying upon each side through its whole course, from Lake Connecticut to its mouth; but in those days its adjacent forests afforded a more immediate resource to the

 

 

 

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settlers in the wild animals that were found there—many of which have now nearly dis­appeared from this vicinity—as the moose, deer, bear, beaver and otter. Wild game and ducks were then also abundant, and the river furnished supplies of fish that would gratify the pampered appetite of an epicure—as salmon, shad and trout.

The proprietors were zealous in their en­deavors to promote the settlement of their lands. From the record of their meeting held March 18, 1779, I take the following:

 

"Whereas Mr. Abner Osgood is building a grist-mill in said township, which we sup­pose will be of great advantage to the settlers, and to encourage him in so good an undertak­ing,—Voted, that we will give him, in case he effects said work, one whole dividing right or share equal to one full right or share of each proprietor, and that he have liberty to lay out one hundred acres of said right at the place where he builds the grist-mill, to be in a square piece, half on one side of the stream and half on the other where he builds said mill; provided, he completes said mill and continues to keep it in good repair, and will hold the same by and under the proprietors."

Mr. Osgood did complete his mill; but it proved to be in the town of Guildhall, as the line between that town and Maidstone was subsequently established. This mill was upon the small stream known as the Mill brook, and on the farm now owned by John H. Boyce, on what is called the north road in Guildhall. This was the first mill ever built in this part of the country, and for the want of sufficient water power was not a very successful affair.

In order to consult some effectual method to secure the title and speedy settlement of the township, and to encourage the same, the proprietors, at a meeting Feb. 26, 1772, voted that each settler who should, as soon as may be the ensuing summer, proceed to begin a settlement and make an improvement, and annually continue the same, shall be allowed a reward of 100 acres of land, proportioned in intervals and upland, in the same man­ner as other proprietors; and they also appointed Joseph Holbrook and Arthur Wooster a committee to locate the corner bound­aries of the township upon the river; and it was also voted to give them $10 each, besides a reasonable reward for their services, as an encouragement to their going up to the Great Coos the ensuing summer with a design to accomplish this work. And in the May fol­lowing they were directed to take the advice of Col. Bailey, and if he thought proper and necessary, in order to obtain a new grant, they were empowered and directed to survey the whole township.

This committee never accomplished the business for which they were appointed. Mr. Holbrook fell in disgrace, was a source of much vexation to the proprietors, who, after years of forbearance, Voted, never thereafter to trouble him with their money or any place of trust.*

In December, 1774, the proprietors allowed to Arthur and Thomas Wooster each 100 acres of land, as a reward for beginning a settlement in Maidstone in 1772, agreeable to the before-mentioned vote.

Micah Amy, John Sawyer, J. Sawyer, Jr., Deliverance Sawyer, Benj. Sawyer, Mr. Mer­rill, Enoch Hall, Benj .Whitcomb, John French, and Jeremy Merrill, who had settled in said township and begun improvements, were each allowed 100 acres, to be proportioned in intervals and uplands together; provided, they paid their proportion of taxes, and con­sented to hold the same under the proprietors and for them, and that they continue their respective settlements and improvements from year to year at least 5 years. As above, we have the names of twelve settlers in town commencing in 1772, and prior to 1774, be­sides the Col. Bailey whom the said committee is directed to take the advice of, is supposed to be Ward Bailey, who was one of the first settlers. There were others, of a still earlier date, of whose names we have no record. One, Mr. Mardeen, lived near the small brook still bearing his name, which runs across the highway between Mr. Beattie's and Dr. Dew­ey's, probably as early as 1770. He might have been the first mechanic in town, as he was basket maker. A son of his, born about 1770, weighing two and a half pounds at birth, attained at full maturity to the very respectable weight of two hundred and some odd pounds—perhaps was the first child born in town.

Mr. Jeremy Merrill, above named, lived in town but few years, on the farm now owned by E. McDade, and at last met a sudden death: He went to a neighbor's to borrow a fan for separating chaff from grain; elevating the fan over his head, he started for home—on the way a limb from a tree fell on the fan,

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* See account in Judd's Record, in County Chapter. Ed.

 

 

 

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killing him instantly. He was probably one of the first buried in the lower public burying ground in this town. Many may remember, some 25 or 30 years ago, seeing human bones washed out by heavy rains from the east side of the burying ground near the river. It is supposed they were his.

Messrs. David Gaskill, Abraham Gile, Ben­jamin Byron, John Hugh, E. Torrey, Jos. Wooster, Reuben Hawkins and some others came into this town about the year 1780 and '81.

The Indians in this part of the country were of the St. Francis tribe in Canada. This country was called by them "Coos," which signifies "The Pines." They had a trail from the territory of that tribe in Canada, to the Penobscot river in Maine. After crossing the Memphremagog, they would take the Clyde river, which would lead them to Island Pond, then cross to the Nulhegan river and down that to the Connecticut, thence to the upper Ammonoosuc, and up this river to some point in the present town of Milan. N. H.. where they crossed to the Androscoggin, thence down the last named river. On this trail they passed through the settled portion of Maidstone, and were a source of great annoyance to the inhabitants. During the Revolution­ary war the Indians received $5 bounty for each captive alive, or scalp that was taken by them.

The Tories were leagued with the Indians in opposition to the Revolutionists, and as the latter could get no assistance from gov­ment, they were obliged to rely entirely upon their own resources for self-defence against this internal enemy.

The inhabitants of both sides of the Con­necticut river, in this vicinity, united together for the purpose of self-protection, and chose a committee of safety and built forts for the protection of the women and children. There were three forts built—two in Northumber­land, one at the mouth of Ammonoosuc river, opposite Jacob Rich's home farm; one on the Marshall farm, now owned by Charles V. Woods; and one in Stratford, nearly opposite Mr. Joseph Merrill's, in the north part of the town. Whenever the alarm was given that the "Indians or tories were coming," the women and children would flee to the forts.

One incident, worthy remembrance, as showing somewhat of the trials and hardships to which young mothers were subject in those days of unremitting fear and anxiety, is as follows: The young wife of Caleb Marshall, on whose farm one of those forts was built, after seeing the most valuable of her house‑hold goods buried in the earth, mounted her horse, with a child of about two years and an infant of three weeks old, and went on unattended through the wilderness and sparsely settled towns a portion of the way, to her own and her husband's parents in Hampstead, N. H., a distance of 160 miles, where she arrived in safety. The infant of three weeks, in after years, became the good and faithful wife of the writer of this sketch—blessed be her memory. She departed this life March 26, 1858.

Ward Bailey was chosen Captain to take command of these forts and the forces raised to guard them. The young and able-bodied men were sent as scouts to the woods, to prevent surprise from the enemy, and those who were not able to go to the woods on this duty were left in the immediate charge of the forts. Capt. Bailey was living in Maid­stone at this time. His house was a few rods north from Col. Joseph Rich's present residence. He was very active in opposition to the tories and Indians, which rendered him particularly obnoxious to them. A party of these savages and tories came from Can­ada for the purpose of capturing Capt. Bailey, Mr. Hugh and other of the inhabitants of Maidstone. They went first to the house of Thomas Wooster, in the north part of the town, and took Wooster, his hired man, John Smith, and James Luther, who was at the house of Mr. Wooster visiting the girl who subsequently became his wife, little thinking of the grievous calamity about to befall him. They then proceeded to Mr. Hugh's, who was saved as narrated in the biographic sketch of Mr. Hugh. Finding that Bailey and his neighbors were armed and prepared to defend themselves, they took what prisoners they had secured to Canada; were pursued by some of the settlers who hoped to rescue the captives, but were unsuccessful and returned home. On their long, tedious march through the wilderness their sufferings were intense, particularly from hunger. When the Indians stopped to eat their scanty meal, Luther would sit down before them and watch with a desiring eye; they would now and then

 

 

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throw him a bit, saying, "you all one dog, take that."

Mr. Luther was afterward redeemed from his captivity, and married the girl from whom he was thus unexpectedly taken, and lived with her in the town of Canaan to a good old age. Mr. Wooster made the tories believe he was also a tory, and was released. The hired man succeeded in effecting his escape from them by running away.

[In connection with the Indian history is also the following interesting account re­ceived from Miss B. T. Rich, daughter of the writer of this record for Maidstone, since the receipt of her father's papers.—Ed.]

 

"We had a visit yesterday from an aged lady who told me of a Mrs. Chapman, whose husband was at work in the field and attacked by a party of Indians and his head split open, falling down half one side and half the other, in sight of his wife in the house, who took her three children and fled to the woods, in hearing of the house. One of the children was a very crying babe, which she put to the breast, every moment expecting it would cry and discover her place of concealment.

While thus hid under the trees and thick foliage, she could hear the Indians come to the house and imitate, as well as they could, her husband's voice—saying, "Come, Molly, the Indians gone; come back, Molly, come." As she did not come, they went away, and she with her children were saved. No tongue could tell her sufferings as they passed near her several times in the search, and she ex­pecting to see her children murdered every moment. She had to cross the river to a neighbor's, to make known her sorrow, which she did by wading through, carrying one child, then returning for another, until all were over safely.

 

My informant does not remember whether Mr. Chapman lived in Brunswick or in Maidstone, at the time; if in B., perhaps you have the story in their history.* She had the narrative from Mrs. Chapman's own lips years ago, and many years after the trag­edy happened, which the poor woman even then told with streaming eyes and choking grief. It shows what people suffered here in those perilous days.

This lady also told me that John French, father of Major Hains French, kept for a long time secreted under a hay stack, his wife carrying him food after dark, as the savages were determined to take him, dead or alive.

They went in the night to the house of Hezekiah Fuller, who, hearing them coming, slipped down behind the bed. They asked his wife where her sannup was, she said he was gone , they then took her large linen apron and filled it with sugar and left the house, much to the relief of its frightened inmates."

 

During the excitement on account of the tories and their allies a young man, by the name of Ozias Caswell, drawing a heavy load of hay from a meadow, his oxen refused to draw the load up the steep bank, and Caswell was exceedingly vexed at his ill luck; finally he took the oxen from the load and set it on fire, giving an alarm that the "Indians burned his hay," which caused all the inhabitants to flee to the forts with much confusion. No Indians being found, Caswell was charged with having raised a false alarm, and, after a longtime, acknowledged his guilt and was severely punished for the offence.

It well becomes those who sit securely by their hearthstones with their children gath­ered about them, fearing no stealthy attack from an insidious foe, to thankfully acknowl­edge that "their lines have fallen in pleasant places;" and also to cherish, with tenderest feelings of veneration and respect, the memory of ancestors who, amidst perils and pri­vations, prepared the way for all they now enjoy.

About the close of the Revolutionary war John Rich and Hezekiah Fuller (came pre­vious, as I am informed), and soon after Jas. Lucas, Wm. Williams and others moved into town with their families.

In 1786 Eben W. Judd surveyed and lotted the lands of the town, and the unsettled line between Maidstone and Guildhall was estab­lished by his survey. He at first met with much opposition from the settlers, who were jealous of their rights and fearful they should be disturbed in their lots; but the matter was finally amicably arranged, and the sur­vey accepted by the unanimous vote of the town.

The first public school in town was taught by Mrs. —— Amy, in 1786, in a log-house just east of the present residence of J. W. Webb. The scholars came from the three towns of Maidstone, Guildhall and Northumberland, N. H.

In this year Ward Bailey built a grist-mill and saw-mill, at Guildhall Falls, which was a real blessing to this portion of the country. Up to this time there had been no framed houses erected, for the want of necessary material.

—————

* As we have not the story in Brunswick history, we conclude Mr. Chapman probably resided in Maidstone at this time—Ed.

 

 

 

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In March, 1788, the town was organized. James Lucas was moderator of the first town meeting, and Hains French, first town clerk. In 1786 Messrs. John Rich, John Hugh and David Gaskill were appointed a com­mittee to alter the highway through the town, where they thought most advantageous to the public. The road was probably laid out sometime previous.

Dr. Enoch Cheney and family came here about this time and built a house for himself on the little rise of ground a few rods north of J. W. Webb's; the highway now passes over the site of his dwelling. He remaind here a few years, and said the country was so healthy he could not support his family; therefore, sold his property and left town, hoping to find a location where his profes­sional services would he in better demand.

From 1786 to 1800 Messrs. Isaac Stevens, Moses Hall, Holloway Taylor, John Taylor Gibb, Jonathan Patterson, Isaac Smith, and Joseph Merrill, moved into town with their families. Isaac Stevens kept the first public house, and Isaac Smith the second store in town, where Dr. Dewey now lives—Abraham Gile's being the first store in town. Mr. Gile, possessing more artifice than honesty, sold a quantity of land lying on the unknown river to Boston merchants, receiving his pay therefor in goods for his store; the land and river, probably still remain unknown. This store was a short distance above Mr. Beattie's, in what has been known some years past as the "old French House," the store-room being afterwards occupied by Hains French, Esq., as an office.

Joseph Merrill, named above, is still living, and is the oldest man in town (1862), is about 87, and retains a remarkable memory for one of his age.

About 1796 the organization of the County of Essex was under consideration and Jas. Lucas and Isaac Stevens were chosen dele­gates to meet with delegates from other towns, to cousult the most prudent measures for the organization of the county. The town also voted to raise money to defray the expense of erecting a court-house and jail in the town of Maidstone, for the use of the county; provided, the legislature of the state would establish the shire of the county in Maidstone.

In 1803 Dr. Tabor located himself in town. His residence was near the river, less than one-half mile above Guildhall Falls. One day, being absent from home, he returned and found his wife missing. Not finding her at the neighbors, a general search was made, and she was at length found lifeless on the bottom of the river. A jury of inquest was summoned and a verdict returned of "suicide from the effects of home-sickness and dis­couragement." Dr. Tabor and wife had been but a short time married. This was the last physician who ever located in this town intending to make a permanent residence and practice his profession exclusively.

The present number of school districts in town are 7, and average time of schooling in a year 5 months, except private schools in families; number of scholars, 65. We have no high school established here, but the fact that every farm through the town on the river has supported children of its owner at some of the high schools of the country shows that the people are not entirely indifferent to education and its objects.

Maidstone has had of United States officers: Rich Stevens, Deputy Marshall Dist. of Vt. Moody Rich, Deputy Collector of Customs; William Rich, Deputy Collector of Customs.

 

 

STATE OFFICERS.

 

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL.

 

Hains French, 2 years, 1809 and 1810.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.

 

                                                        Last period

                        No. of elections.         of service.

John Rich,                   1                            1791

Hains French,              1                            1793

Moody Rich,                 2                            1843

Jesse Hugh                  1                            1822

Daniel Rich                  1                            1828

Joseph Gleason,           1                            1836

Charles Stevens,           1                            1850

 

COUNCIL OF CENSORS.

 

John Dewey,                1                            1848

 

 

COUNTY OFFICERS.

 

JUDGES OF PROBATE.

 

James Lucas,                3                            1798

Joseph Gleason,           3                            1839

Moody Rich,                 2                            1844

 

ASSISTANT JUDGES.

 

Moody Rich,                 5                            1827

Jesse Hugh,                 1                            1816

 

SHERIFFS.

 

Rich Stevens,               5                            1828

D. H. Beattie,               3                            1857

 

CLERK OF COUNTY COURT.

 

Hains French,             12                           1813

 

SENATORS.

 

Moody Rich,                 1                            1841

John Dewey,                1                            1857

Thomas G. Beattie,       2                            1861

 

 

 

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Moody Rich, County Treasurer for many years—do not know precisely how many.

 

REPRESENTATIVES.

 

                                 No. of    First period     Last period

                            elections.      of service.      of service.

Abraham Gild,                 1             1781

John Rich,                       5             1785             1791

David Gaskill,                  1             1789

Hains French,                 9             1793             1807

James Lucas,                  2             1795             1798

Jacob Rich,                     1             1799

Joseph Wooster,              1             1800

Isaac Stevens,                 1             1801

Jesse Hugh,                    7             1806             1828

Moody Rich                    15             1809             1848

Rich Stevens,                  1             1815

S. G. Hinman,                 1             1816

Daniel Rich,                    5             1820             1834

Joseph Gleason,              2             1832             1833

G. A. Hall,                        2             1835             1836

Joseph Rich,                   2             1837             1838

D. Merrill,                        2             1810             1841

Leonard Walker,             2             1842             1813

James Follansby,            2             1844             1845

Charles Stevens,             3             1847             1855

D. C. Kimball,                  2             1850             1851

P. R. Follansby,               4             1852             1859

G. Beattie,                       3             1854             1857

J. W. Webb,                     2             1860             1861

 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER.

 

P. R. Follansby, 2 elections. 1859

 

JOHN RICH

 

was born in Germany, near the river Rhine, in 1729. Hoping to find a government more in accordance with his ideas of political and religious liberty, he emigrated to America when a young man; married in or near Boston, Mass., by Rev. Samuel Merrill, in 1753, to Catharine Sophia Whiteman, who also came from the same country with her parents when 14 years of age. They were equally rich in energy, perseverance and self-reliance, and commenced life with a mutual agreement to lay by a certain sum daily for future need. After a few years of pecuniary prosperity in Ashburnham, Mass., they removed to Haverhill, N. H. Mr. Rich purchased the fine farm a few rods north of the court house, now owned by Ex-Governor Page. While living in Haverhill he was employed by government to furnish supplies to the continental army. His oldest son John was also in the service of his country under Col. Timothy Bedle. In March, 1784, he moved to Maidstone. As there were no roads, the journey was made on the Connecticut river through many perils to himself and family, as well as the stock which he drove. Here he bought a large tract of land on the river, supposed then to be in Guildhall, of the Sawyers, who had built three log houses and made some improvements on the same. The beautiful intervals known as the Rich meadows were then covered with a heavy growth of rock maple, elm and butter­nut.

After some length of time another claimant came for the land, and as there was no alterna­tive, it was again paid for. Of this tract of land he made four farms, one each for three sons, John, Henry and Jacob, reserving the home­stead for his youngest son Moody, who has lived on the same 78 years, and is now at the advanced age of 82, the only person in town who was an inhabitant of the same when it was organized. The three sons above named lived and died leaving families on the farms purchased by their father.

Mr. Rich was an energetic, enterprising man for the times, zealously engaged in whatever would promote the welfare of the town, not willing to entrust its interests committed to him in other hands, as one anecdote will show. He spoke with the brogue of his native land, and when in the legislature at one time he had an unusual amount of busi­ness to lay before the house: A young lawyer proposed to do the necessary talking on the occasion, saying, "Some may not readily understand you," Mr. R. replies, "Do you understand me?" "O yes, perfectly well sir." "Then that is enough for you, I will do my own talking." He was strongly democratic in principle, regarded the right of suffrage as a sacred inheritance, and enjoined its observ­ance upon all freemen as a duty on which depended the freedom of the country—believing that through neglect of this the liberty of Germany was lost, and consequently the tyr­anny he had witnessed in his fatherland He was moreover a warm friend of religion, and the observance of the Sabbath—always at­tending religious meetings when possible, and frequently hiring ministers for occasional services and paying them from his own purse. He was honest and upright in all business transactions; in his domestic relations kind and pleasant tempered. He died Sept. 31, 1813, aged 84 years and 6 months.

Mrs. Catharine Sophia Rich was remark­able for industry, economy and liberality, as well as an accumulating faculty that filled her house with an abundance from which she dispensed with bountiful hand to those in need, none such going empty-handed from her door. She died April 14, 1818, aged 82 years.

 

 

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THE HUGH FAMILY

 

Among the earliest settlers of Maidstone was John Hugh, who was born in Musselborough, Scotland, in the year 1737. He was only 8 years of age when the celebrated battle of Preston Pans was fought in the same town, and well remembered his father's returning home after the battle was over.

While in the company of four other boys of his own age along the banks of the Frith of Forth enjoying a holiday at the age of 16, he with the others were enticed to go on board a small vessel lying not far distant. After they were on board they soon learned that they were captives to a press-gang then in the employ of and sanctioned by the British government. They were soon placed on board of a man of war, and neither ever saw their home, kindred or country again.

At this period the English were at war with the French, and the vessel was bound for the Colonies in America. After a stormy passage they made the port of Boston. By an understanding between the boys they affected to be well pleased with their new life and duties. They were furnished with soldiers' clothes and rations. After remaining on board for a sufficient time to quiet suspicion—one night when the sentinel was drowsy, they let themselves down the vessel's side by ropes and made their escape by swim­ming to the shore. Being entirely ignorant of the country and its inhabitants, they trav­eled by night through the new sparsely set­tled region and lay still during the day. But at length, pressed for food, they called at a farmer's house by the name of Harriman, in Plaistow, N. H. Here they were received with kindness, and acting under advice, they all changed their clothing and separated in order to evade being recaptured.

The subject of this narrative, from this time to the commencement of the Revolutionary War, made his home with his benefactor, and subsequently married Anna Harriman, his daughter. He was in the War of the Revo­lution, and fought at the battles of Bunker Hill, Bennington and Ticonderoga. From Plaistow he removed to Haverhill, N. H., where he purchased a farm, and was the seventh family in that town. From here he removed to Newbury, Vt., and bought a farm on the great Ox Bow. This place he sold subsequently and took the whole pay in Continental money, which proved to be entirely worthless. From here he moved to Derryfield, now Manchester, N. H., and from there afterward to Maidstone, Vt., in March, 1781. He purchased the place on which he lived and died, of Mr. Lindsey the year before—the same being now owned by D. H. and T. G. Beattie. At the time Mr. Hugh moved to Maidstone the whole country was almost an unbroken wilderness. There were no roads of any kind, and the settlers had to make the tedious circuit of the river on the ice. The snow was very deep, and the weather intensely cold. The family suffered extreme hardships in getting through. After a clear­ing was made sufficiently large a small log house was built, then came the scarcity of provisions, the terror of the Indians and all the other privations, fears and hardships incident to the settlement of a new country in those days.

By this time some of the sons had grown up, and owing to their skill with the gun, and their experience in border-life, they gave great offence to the Indians. The settlers never went into the woods to hunt for cattle, nor into the fields to work, but what they had fire-arms always at hand. In addition to the hatred the Indians bore to John Hugh and sons, they had a pecuniary motive in taking them prisoners, dead or alive, for a bounty was paid the Indians by the British government for all prisoners taken alive into Canada, and $5 for each scalp.

About this time a party of British Indians came in from Canada by the way of Connect­icut river. They took several prisoners as they came along, and amongst them was James Luther. With a view of securing John Hugh and some of his sons, the party encamped just back of Mr. Beattie's orchard in the woods at that time, intending to make the attack the next morning at the break of day. As it happened by accident that morn­ing, Mr. Hugh and his eldest son, John, got up very early intending to go over a line of sable traps which they had set, running directly west from the river some 5 miles. Thinking that their guns might want clean­ing they washed them out, and in order to dry them put in a charge of powder and fired them off. At this the Indians took alarm, supposing they were discovered and that a large force had collected to give them battle. Owing to this slight circumstance

 

 

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the Hughs saved themselves from captivity, and perhaps their lives.

ANNA HUGH was a noble woman, and bore the heat and burden of those early days of toil and self-denial with a true woman's for­titude. As an evidence of her kind heart, it is related that shortly after they came into the settlement, three captive men who had escaped from the Indians somewhere in Can­ada, made their way alone and without food back and struck Connecticut river on John Hugh's farm. They were almost famished, having lived several days without food except the twigs and bark of trees. Mrs. Hugh immediately made a soup, and for hours fed them with a spoon in order to allay their hunger without periling their lives by a hearty meal. Two of these men were very, large, and the other a small one. It was often said afterwards by the small man that, on the last day, the looks of his two large companions told him that unless they had food soon he would be the one first to be killed, in order to preserve the others.

John Hugh was a plain, sober, industrious man, and died respected by his friends and neighbors, Sept. 27, 1814. His wife died the year before, and both lie side by side in the little burying-ground in the town.

It might perhaps be proper to add that he raised a large family of sons and daughters, namely, John, Jesse, James, Joab, Samuel, Anna, Sally and Dorcas, and most of them lived to an advanced age—all having passed away except Dorcas. The three last named sons, from 1810 to 1817, believing that "Westward the star of empire wends its way," moved to the Genesee valley, N. Y. Here they and their descendants went into the forest, as their father did before them, and help­ed change it into one of the finest wheat growing sections the world. Not long afterwards they engaged with others in the great enterprises of the day which, when completed, have made New York in truth the Empire State. These enterprises were her canals and turnpikes, and later her steam­boats and railroads.

Like many other Westernisms, without any reason therefor, the name of "Hughes" was substituted for "Hugh," the true family Scotch name. Many of the descendants of these sons and daughters have moved still farther west and are now found in many of the northwestern States. Two of the sons of Joab—John M. Hugh, Esq., and Hon. Arthur Hugh—are among the most prominent public men of Cleveland, Ohio. But the eldest son, John, adhering to the associations and local attachments of his boyhood, never left the woods and ranges where he had enjoyed the sports of hunting. Few men were more fond of a moose or deer hunt than he, and none ever enjoyed more the pleasures of camp life. The woods of the northern portions of Ver­mont, New Hampshire and Maine, were all familiar to him—as the pastures, fields and meadow-lands are to the thrifty farmer. His mind was well stored with hunting lore, Indian traditions and revolutionary inci­dents. The following was one of those early reminiscences: When a small boy, his father was a near neighbor of Gen. Stark. The General being absent in the war and help scarce, by permission of his father he went and worked for Mrs. Stark in the hay-field in company with herself, a son of about the same age as himself, the girls and two hired men. A few days before the battle of Ben­nington, while thus engaged a courier arrived in great haste and delivered to Mrs. Stark a letter from her husband,—and with the rake leaning on her shoulder she read it aloud, which was to the following effect:

"Dear Molly: In less than one week the British forces here will be ours. Send every man from the farm that will come, and let the haying go to hell." This was character­istic of the General.

Few men had such a general store of knowledge as John Hugh tho younger. It was culled from every source of knowledge. His memory was remarkable, and often people would come from a distance to gather from his great store-house of information facts and incidents in connection with the early settle­ment of the country. He lived in the town of Canaan and died there at an advanced age some ten years since.

 

SAMUEL HUGH,

the youngest son of John Hugh, lived at a time when there was occasionally a school of a few weeks in the winter season. This however was limited to a few of what are now called elementary studies, such as spell­ing, reading and writing, with the ground rules of arithmetic—geography in those dayS being rather too classical. Previous to the war of 1812 he was appointed Deputy Col­lector of the State of Vermont, and contin

 

 

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ued so until he was forcibly taken from his own house in Canaan by a band of ruffians from Canada and carried a prisoner out of the United States. The circumstances con­nected with this outrage was as follows: There were parties from Canada engaged in smuggling through property, chiefly cattle, from the States, and it is to be regretted that many of our citizens were then as now found who were anxious to give "aid and comfort to the enemy." It was a duty of the officers of customs to put a stop to this contraband business, and they did so, but not without the loss of several lives.

Hearing that a large drove of cattle was being started through by the smugglers, Samuel Hugh gathered together a number of men and pursued them. Among the number were Ephraim Mahurin, Eleazer Slocum, Wm. McAllister, — Cogswell, and several others—all armed. The party did not suc­ceed in overtaking the drove of cattle until they got over the line and had been delivered to the purchasers, who were also in force ex­pecting a conflict. Samuel Hugh was a pow­erful man, over 6 feet high and weighed over 200 pounds. Two men by the name of Mor­rill also powerful men attacked him at once, and having knocked one of them down, the other was in the very act of snapping a loaded gun at Hugh's breast before h could use his own weapon again, when some one from the American party more expert fired his rifle and Morrill fell dead. As several guns were discharged at the same time, it was never known to whom Hugh was indebted for his life.

In the melee another of the Canadian par­ty was wounded. His name was also Mor­rill and a brother to the one who was killed. There was also a third man by the same name, and was a nephew of the others. It was he who made the attack on Hugh as before mentioned. He had previously dis­charged his gun at him loaded with ball and buck-shot. The charge passed through Mr. Hugh's clothing, but did no injury to his person. But about 4 weeks after the affair, in the dead of night, Samuel Hugh's house was surrounded by an armed party from Canada, together with their friends and sympathizers in the States, amounting to nearly 100 persons. He had just moved into a new house. The first intimation of their presence was the breaking in of almost every window. The family, consisting of Mrs. H. and a number of small children, were thrown into great alarm and distress, and clung around their natural protector. See­ing guns leveled at him from every direc­tion, one of which was snapped at him but missed fire, he managed to free his person from his wife and children to prevent their being shot, for he had no doubt they came to murder him. This was unquestionably the object of some of them, but they were pre­vented by the more considerate and less guilty portion of the party.

Immediately all the stock and whatever property they could lay their hands on was taken and hurried off. Mr. Hugh himself was placed on a horse with his feet tied under the horse, and armed men walked on each side to guard him. This was in extreme cold weather in November, 1814. The news spread like wild fire, and soon as a large party could be collected—which was not until the next day at noon—to rescue Mr. H., they started in full pursuit. But before they got through the woods they found that they were too far behind to overtake the enemy, and returned.

Mr. H. was first taken to Stanstead. Here he sent across the line to David Hopkinson his brother-in-law who then resided in Derby. On Mr. Hopkinson's appearance he was ar­rested himself on some pretext and kept closely guarded by keepers three days, and could render no assistance. From Stanstead Mr. Hugh was carried to Montreal, thrown into prison and heavily loaded with irons. Here Morrill Magoon—afterward notorious for his counterfeiting and other crimes for which he was executed—was his keeper. During his stay here, Magoon intimated to him that for a certain sum he would secure his escape. This sum was subsequently raised and sent on, but before it came it was decid­ed that Mr. H. could not be tried at Mon­treal, but that he must be sent to Three Rivers. At the last named place he was tried, and on their failing to prove the hom­icide he was convicted by the Court of some minor offence and sentenced to be branded and imprisoned for three months. This con­viction was to show the petty spleen the courts of Great Britain had against our government.

Again Mr. H. was loaded with chains and confined in a dark, loathsome cell. His suf

 

 

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ferings from vermin and filth, with fare that Christians would have hardly offered their lowest brutes, soon reduced Mr. H. to a mere skeleton compared with what he was before entering a British prison. In addition to this, all manner of abuse and indignities were heaped upon him. Soon after peace was declared his friends got up petitions which were forwarded to the Governor of Vermont, and he procured what official papers were necessary and authorized Seth Cushman, of Guildhall, to go to Canada and present them to the Governor-General of that province. This had the effect to set Mr. H. at liberty, who returned to his family, having been imprisoned upwards of one year.

The legislature of Vermont granted to his wife, Patty Hugh, $1000. Such are some of the stirring events that characterized the lives of the patriots on the frontiers, who periled their lives and their property in be­half of the liberty of their country.

Samuel Hugh died about eight years ago, as he had lived, an honored and patriotic man, respected and remembered by all who knew him.

 

BENJAMIN BYRON

moved from Bridgewater, Mass., into the town of Maidstone about the year 1780, with his wife and four youngest children, leaving two daughters married and settled in Bridge­water, where they remained. He settled first on the farm now owned and occupied by Jacob Rich, but soon obtained a lease of a public lot in the north part of the town, where he remained during life. He was a blacksmith, and having built a log house and a little shop, he supported his family mostly by working at his trade. He was a smart active man, and somewhat eccentric,—like some others of his time, not having the advantage of an education, but had a fund of originality and ready wit as a substitute. Many anecdotes are told of him to the pres­ent time. The following is one: In time of war, he was bearer of dispatches to a dis­tance, through long woods in great haste. Having traveled till he was weary and well nigh exhausted, he came to a settlement. Entering a house he found a company about sitting down to a table bountifully spread. Hunger, and the importance of his message, would not allow delay, therefore he immedi­ately sat down and commenced helping him­self. Some one suggested to him the propriety of waiting, as the minister would ask a bless­ing. He kept on eating, but replied, "Say what you are a mind to, you wont turn my stomach."

His wife was Rachel Bailey, sister to Ward Bailey, who settled in Maidstone about the same time. She was a woman of good native talents and possessed of perseverance and good calculation, which were very neces­sary in order to encounter the difficulties and dangers to which the early settlers were sub­ject. Many times were these traits called into exercise that her family might be com­fortable. Their youngest child,

 

GEORGE WASHINGTON BYRON,

the principal subject of this sketch, was born in Bridgewater, Mass., July 7, 1776. He was not a healthy child and had but few privileges; was active both in mind and body; and in his earlier years evinced those marked traits of character which he mani­fested through life. He must know "the rea­son why," to become convinced and see wherein would be the advantage, in order to be influenced. He often related an anecdote of his early years: When he was about five years old, there was an alarm given that the Indians were coming, as they often did to take prisoners to Canada. His mother must take her children and run to the fort. Wash­ington (as he was always called) had seen friendly Indians, and was not afraid of them. He could not see the advantage of going to the fort, but he knew the worth of the meat and vegetables that were on the fire boiling, and refused to leave till after dinner. His moth­er, knowing that unless the child went will­ingly he would not run very fast, asked him what she should give him to induce him to go. He told her if she would give him the large pin that she used to pin her shawl, he would go. Such things, so common now, were then almost unknown, and he desired it. She did so, and they went to the fort. But the alarm proved false, and they returned the next day, and much to his satisfaction found their dinner hanging on the crane as they had left it. At another time when a lad, he with his brother Benjamin were in the field, when they saw a rabbit. His brother, who was a pious youth, commented running and crying, "Lord, help! Lord, help! when he, thinking that the noise would do more to frighten the animal than secure aid, said quickly, "Say nothing Ben.; say nothing,—

 

 

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two are enough to catch a, rabbit." This was not so much from irreligion, as a habit he always had of relying on his own exertions and using proper means for whatever he wished to accomplish. His chance for educa­tion was very limited, as he had to go about three miles to school, but he acquired a passable knowledge of the common branches. But this life, free from restraint, was giving his body a vigor and health that rendered him able in after years to endure many hard­ships necessary for him to encounter; and he was acquiring a knowledge of nature with a habit of reasoning which, combined with good judgment, was very useful. When little more than 16 it became necessary for him to take the management of business, as his father had not a good business faculty. He learned the trade of his father, and commenced life in earnest. Being ingenious, he worked at all kinds of business, and what­ever he wished to do he found a way of doing. He bought land adjoining his lot, with a view of improving his farm,—thinking a farmer's life the best. He built a convenient house and other buildings, an gave his par­ents a comfortable home, as they lived to an advanced age. His affection for his mother was a marked trait of his character, and it continued unabated while he lived. He received no aid pecuniarily, as his father's property would not pay the debts; therefore it was sometimes necessary to turn short corners. He was prompt to pay. At one time a man to whom he was owing money, came to him as he was ploughing in the spring with the first yoke of oxen he ever owned, and wished to buy them—not so much to get the debt, but cattle were scarce. He said he thought a moment of his need of them as he did not know where he could get more,—but it would pay the debt, and he immediately unhitched them, though, he added, tears would come to his eyes as he did so. But he accumulated a good property, and having earned it himself knew how to make good use of it. He did not aspire to office, but his good judgment was often very efficient in many of the business transactions of the town. He also took a lively interest in schools, that others might receive the ben­efit of what he felt so much in need. He was very industrious, seldom ever being idle an hour, which accounted for the great amount of labor which he performed. He lived to be threescore and ten, yet was never old. He retained all his faculties nearly perfect (especially a remarkable memory), and his last day's work was, he said, as great as he ever did. It was probably the cause of the acute rheumatism with a lung fever that so suddenly terminated his life. He died April 17, 1846. He was married about 1806, to Mary, daughter of Antipas Marshall, of Northumberland, N. H. She died 1824, leaving 8 children to mourn the loss of an excellent mother, and a husband who never forgot her worth. He was married again to Nancy, daughter of Caleb Marshall, of Northumberland, a second cousin to his first wife. She still lives on the same farm, keeping it in the original name. She had 4 children, making 14 in all. Twelve of the children lived to be men and women grown seven are now living. The children possess­ed the same ingenuity of their father, but he, thinking his boys better be farmers, tried to keep them from the shop. This perhaps made them desire to be there more, for when he was going from home he would take the precaution to fasten the windows and doors to keep them out; but as soon as he was out of sight, they would climb upon the roof and get in at the chamber windows, and work till about time for him to come, taking care to put every tool just where they found it. But he soon suspected them, and concluded they might as well follow the bent of their inclination; and not one of them was ever a farmer.

We would notice particularly one of the youngest daughters, Eliza Augusta, born June 1, 1828. She was a person of very delicate health, but of great energy and per­severance. When a child she could not endure what most children can, yet it was very hard for her to refrain from engaging in what her active, aspiring mind prompted. She would insist on attending school when she was not able to do so. She entered into all the amusements for young people with an eagerness natural to a lively disposition, and in whatever she engaged rendered her­self very agreeable. She had an impression from a child that she should die young, and was often desirous of becoming familiar with sickness and death, when occurring among her friends. She always entertained an idea that she would sometime be a Christian, but it was not till she was eighteen that she man‑

 

 

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ifested that bright and shining example which always marked her after-years. Then her character matured rapidly, and she engaged in everything good and worthy with an avidity which indicated a short life. The Sabbath School became her delight, the Bible her constant companion, and the house of God was to her truly a sanctuary. Still she gave much time to all the literature of the day which is entertaining or beneficial. Her journal was to her as a dear friend. The Missionary cause was, to use her own words, her "darling theme,"—and she would without doubt have devoted herself to its work, but she still felt that her life would be short; and it soon became evident to her friends that she was fast ripening for the grave She was a cheerful Christian, and she performed many duties faithfully. Yet she claimed no merit of her own, but often said, "My salvation is through amazing grace." Consumption claimed her as its victim. She felt admonished to set her house in order, and she did so. Not one of the numerous friends who visited her in her sickness but received a word of Christian counsel. She arranged her affairs to her entire satisfaction, and in affixing her signature to some last business documents it was with as much alacrity as one would pen a note to a friend, and gave directions for her funeral with as much cheerfulness as one would prepare for a festi­val, choosing as a text, "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness." On a beau­tiful Sabbath, Aug. 8, 1859, her freed spirit entered its everlasting rest—not as one who dies prematurely, but as one who has performed a life-long work and is ready to depart.

 

DAVID GASKILL

 

and family moved to Maidstone about the year 1780. He bought a lot of meadow-land on the Connecticut, and in a few years, by in­dustry and economy, they cleared their land from a wilderness to a well cultivated farm, and placed themselves in comfortable circum­stances in life. In the year 1788 Mr. G. was elected justice of the peace, and held the office as long as he lived, by annual election. He performed more service as magistrate than all others in town. Towards the close of his life he united with the Methodist church.

Mr. G. was a singular man in many of his ways: When upon his death-bed, Col. Rich Stevens called to see him; when inquired of about his health, he replied that he was grow­ing worse, and could not live long, and re­quested Mr. Stevens to attend his funeral and, after he was lowered in the grave, to ask in a loud voice—"David Gaskill, is it all well with thee?" and if it was not all well, he would answer. Mr. S. accordingly attended the funeral, and after the mourners had re­tired, knelt by the grave and fulfilled the last request of his neighbor,—receiving no an­swer, he went away with the assurance that it was all well with David Gaskill. He was an honest, upright man, and died about the year 1826.

 

MAJOR JAMES LUCAS,

 

who was one of the early settlers, contributed much to the settlement and advancement of this town. He was born in Rochester, N. H., March 14, 1752, and moved to the town in the spring of 1785. He entered the army of the Revolution at the age of 24 years, as a paymaster of a regiment in the New Hampshire line, and acted as lieutenant of infantry at the battle of Bennington, under Stark, and was raised to the rank of Major near the close of the war. He held many offices of trust. For many years after the organization of the town, he represented it in the state legislature; was judge of probate for the district of Orange previous to the organization of the county of Es­sex, and judge of the county court. He resided on the farm now occupied by Jacob Rich, near the mouth of the Ammonoosuc river from the New Hampshire side, and his house was a great resort as a place of traffic for the Indians of the Penobscot and St. Fran­cis tribes, in their hunting excursions through and upon the waters of the Quebec, Andros­coggin, Ammonoosuc, Connecticut, and Nul­hegan rivers to the waters of the St. Francis, in Canada, when at one time the following incident occurred: Lucas had living with him a youngster by the name of John Jordan who was hoeing corn in the absence of Lucas, op­posite the mouth of the Ammonoosuc river which emptied into the Connecticut from the New Hampshire side, where the Indians had an encampment; and the young Indians, while the old ones were gone, came down on the beach with a gun, and pointing at John across the river, would flash powder at him in the pan and perform many insulting antics, till he could bear with them no longer, when

 

 

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he went to the house and asked Mrs. Lucas for the "old Queen's arm" and some duck shot, as there were some ducks in the river, and it was given to him without suspicion, and he returned to his work. Soon the young Indians came down and commenced their former antics until John's patience was exhausted and he blazed away at them and wounded three of their number—one badly. He soon after returned to the house, where he was asked if he had killed any ducks? John answered—no, but he had wounded some; soon he became silent and moody,—when asked by Mrs. Lucas if he was unwell he told what he had done, and she became much alarmed in the absence of her husband as it was coming night. She set herself immedi­ately about secreting John in an empty cask in the cellar. Soon Major Lucas came and learned the difficulty, and the Indians came home about the same time on the other side. Lucas and his wife crossed over to the In­dians immediately, and assisted with lights in finding the one badly wounded, who had drawn himself into the tall brakes, and would not answer when called to for fear it was John. However, they all got well, and the old ones became pacified after a time and John made his way, with help, to Eaton, Canada.

Major Lucas died of cancer, at Northum­berland, N. H., where he had previously removed in 1835, aged 83 years.

 

COL. RICH STEVENS

 

was born in Haverhill, N. H., the son of Isaac and Elizabeth Stevens, the latter a most excellent woman whose praise is in the hearts of all who knew her; was the daughter of John and Catharine Sophia Rich. They moved to Maidstone about the year 1790, when Rich was two years old, and afterward to Stratford, N. H., leaving him on the home­stead when he married Fanny, daughter of Jacob Schoff. With industrious habits, and a valuable farm well stocked, they were well situated in life. He was a pleasant, obliging neighbor, and much respected. In 1817 he built the first brick house in the county, on his farm.

Col. Stevens was U. S. deputy marshal some years; also high sheriff of the county of Essex 5 years, and held other offices of trust in town. He learned the art of sur­veying—for many years was the surveyor principally relied on in this section of the country, and was well versed in the mysteries of the lines in the timbered lands, "up the Hegan." In the year 1829 he surveyed and lotted the 3d division lots in Maidstone.

One morning in the month of March, 1851, he started to cross the Connecticut river on the ice, intending to return at evening. He went safely across in the morning, but during the day it rained and the river rose; at evening he was known to have started to return home across the ice, and was never seen af­terward. He left a wife and two sons living.

 

ISAAC M'LELLAN,

 

desiring rest from the cares of mercantile business, moved from Portland, Me., to Maid­stone in 1807, where he resided some years engaged in the pursuits of agriculture on the valuable farm previously purchased by Gen. William Hull, now owned by Dr. J. Dewey. He then removed to Boston, Mass., and again entered the mercantile profession,—resided there until his death, which took place a few years since. He won the esteem of all by his many excellent traits of character, and his memory has ever been warmly cherished by those in town who shared his acquaintance and friend-ship. His wife, a most, estimable woman, was the daughter of Gen. Hull.

 

HENRY BLAKE M'LELLAN.

 

EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MISS B. T. RICH.*

 

"Henry Blake M'Lellan, son of Isaac and Eliza M'Lellan, was born at Maid­stone about 1810, I think, and died young —not over 22. He received a collegiate education, and was graduated at Andover, Mass.; spent two or three years abroad in travel, and study with Dr. Chalmers, of Edinburg, Scotland, preparatory to entering the ministerial profession. He was much beloved wherever known, for his kind and gentlemanly deportment, intellectual abili­ties and devoted piety. His death, which occurred soon after his return home, was greatly lamented by a large circle who had anticipated for him a life of great usefulness and eminence in the church. His remains rest at Mount Auburn."

[A biography of his life (12 mo. some 300 or more pages) was published soon after his death, which has been in possession of the writer, but was unfortunately loaned to the county historian, and in his library at the

———

* Daughter of the historian of Maidstone.

 

 

                                                              MAIDSTONE                                                 1039

 

time that it was lately destroyed by fire."* The work is not now extant, and it is not known where another copy can be found,— otherwise, of this talented and once promis­ing young man a full and complete biography might be herein given.—Ed.]

 

MAJ. RAINS FRENCH.

 

The father of the subject of this article was one of the early settlers of Maidstone. He emigrated to the town from Walpole, N. H., shortly before the Revolutionary war. He had a large family. The oldest son was John, named after his father. He was a captain in the continental army and well acquainted with Washington.

Hains, the second son, was born about the year 1760, and at the early age of 15 became a waiter of Major Whitcomb in the Revolutionary war, and subsequently enlisted. He went with the army of Gen. Montgomery down Lake Champlain and was at the siege of Quebec in December, 1775. At the departure of the American troops, he was unable to accompany them on account of hav­ing the small pox, and fell into the hands of the British as a prisoner of war. Here he suf­fered great hardships from ill treatment and neglect. At length he was sent around by water to New York,—there being an ex­change of prisoners,—and after an absence of two years came back to Maidstone. When he knocked at the door and went into his father's house, not even his own mother knew him, he was so much emaciated. In 1784 he was married to Irene Learnard, whose father then resided in Columbia, N. H., and settled down to farming for a few years. From this marriage there were 5 children, his wife dying in 1799. In 1804 he was married again to Sally Hugh, by whom there were 4 children—Eusebia, Hains, Vol­ney and Sarah.

Having no early advantages of an educa­tion, Hains French neglected no opportunity to acquire the rudiments of a common school education, even after his marriage. It is a well authenticated fact that his first wife, among other things, taught him to write. Having an investigating mind, however, he read much of the general literature of the day, such as was then published. He was extremely fond of the study of ancient and modern history and spent much of his leisure time in perusing the best authors to be had. He also took a lively interest in the subject of the different forms of government, and was well versed in the diplomatic tactics of foreign courts. He was an ardent republican and a great friend of the Jeffersonian school of politicians.

Soon after the organization of the county of Essex, Mr. French was elected as a mem­ber of the council of the state and was either elected to that body or the house of represent­atives for 12 years. He was also county clerk for nearly the same length of time, and held several other offices of trust in the county and in his own town. He was once appointed Judge of the county, but declined to serve.

Being clerk of the court, it naturally led him to the investigation of the principles of law, and from that to a small practice, in which it is said he was very successful. One of his early efforts, it may not be out of place to remark here, was not only characteristic

———

* The only library of any importance that we found in Essex County was that of Hiram A. Cutting. It was considerably antiquarian, and though the loss was only about one-third, it was one not only to the owner and the county, but to the State. With the library destroyed was also an observatory and valuable Indian cabinet. We learn by a letter from the gentleman since the above was in print: "I lost about 500 volumes, some of which were rare and works not extant, of considerable value; and my own pecuniary lose was about $6000, but the ladies in the place got up a subscription and gave me one of Lillie's patent combination-lock safes; and the gen­tlemen drew up a paper subscribing about $1000, to be presented to me on condition that I would stay here and rebuild—which I have done, and it is mostly paid. My self-recording anemometer, that records by clock­work the direction of the wind for every hour of the day and night—also one of Robinson's anemometers, which records its velocity, were lost by the conflagration, but new ones are put on the top of my new building, as heretofore. I have again built on the same ground— two story, with an observatory on the top. I also saved from the conflagration my valuable microscope." The microscope alluded to is a French instrument, and has the highest magnifying power of any instrument we have ever examined. It magnifies the object 15,000 times above the size seen by the naked eye. By a former letter, written immediately after the fire had occurred, we regretted to learn amid the loss in the observatory was included the fine old telescope through which, while at L., we had looked at the moon and stars by night, or the White Mountains by day. Their outline and summits, over the river eastward in New Hampshire, are seen well from here with the naked eye,—the day being clear, a grand look-off-to with the telescope. The telescope was the largest in the state, that of the Vermont University at Burlington being excepted, and one of a prize-set of astronomical and meteorological instruments from Paris. Mr. Cutting has recorded meteorological observations for some over 20 years. He had also at this time a collection of fine pic­tures. Speaking of the latter, in his letter just received, he observes: "I have still 80 or 90 fine pictures—near a dozen of them oil-paintings—which are rare in this section." It is not our wont to individ­ualize among contributors to our pages, editorial flat­tery being intolerable—and as unto a historian or con­tributor we do not here. His pages we leave to their own merits; yet as we have never found a better friend to our magazine—a historian or gentleman who has labored more to promote its circulation in his section, or at home and abroad, or never one who has been more ready to proffer any practical assistance, according to his means, it is but just this one other—to the long-laboring historian—pleasant fact be recorded.—Ed.

 

 

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of the liberality of the man in religious mat­ters, but a chronological event in the history of the separation of church and state in that quarter of Now England:

 

It appears that at that early period the tith­ing system, as known in England before then and subsequently, was in full force in all or most all of the New England states. A man had neglected to pay the minister-rates, and his only cow was seized to satisfy them. Mr. French was called upon to defend, and he entered upon the subject with as much zeal as if the man was to have been burnt at the stake unless he abjured heretical doctrines. Able counsel was procured to sustain the church party, and elaborate arguments made at the trial. But the doctrine was ignored that men were obliged by law to sustain a church whose doctrines perhaps were repudi­ated by his own conscience. Both he and ev­ery liberal minded man considered it a most signal triumph.

Mr. French was proverbially a social man, and the soul of a gathering among the early settlers for an evening before the old-fash­ioned fireplace filled with a blazing fire. To have a good practical joke or pun, a song and a story, were the best kind of an enter­tainment—believing in the old couplet:

 

"That a little fun now and then

Is relish'd by the best of men."

 

The war of 1812 found Mr. French engag­ed upon his small farm in Maidstone, in poor health, following his usual pursuits. In the legislature that fall he became acquainted with James Fisk, then a sitting member, who was afterward elected to Congress. Mr. Fisk the following winter procured his appoint­ment as Maj. of the 31st Regt. U. S. infantry in the division commanded by Gen. Wade Hampton. Notwithstanding his feebleness from a severe illness of which he had just re­covered, and the advice of friends, Maj. French immediately accepted his commission and proceeded to Burlington with his regi­ment. No arguments could overcome the loyalty and the observance of what he viewed a duty he owed to his country. With him, nearly the same time, enlisted his three sons, Homer, John and Ovid, the last being only 17 years of age. Homer was killed at the battle of Chippewa, while storming a battery, Sept. 17, 1814, and the other two served during the war.

During the summer, Maj. French was engaged in drilling and disciplining his regiment at Burlington, but still in poor health. In the early part of the fall of the same year, an attack had been planned upon Mon­treal by the uniting of Hampton's and Gen. Wilkinson's armies together, the latter proceeding down the St. Lawrence. From Burlington our forces were ordered to move on to Plattsburg, and then by the way of Chateaugay River down to the St. Lawrence, to form this junction. As the army advanced the weather became cold and rainy, and the roads almost impassable. When they arrived at a little village in the northern part of the state of New York, called Chateaugay Four Corners, Maj. French's health became so poor he was obliged to stop. At this spot he lingered along a few days and expired about the middle of November of the same year, only regretting that his life and health could not be prolonged until his country had subdued her enemies.

The subject of this memoir was literally a self-made man of more than ordinary natu­ral endowments—patriotic in his devotion to his country, strictly honest and honorable in his deal, faithful in all offices of public trust, and died lamented. He was a brave officer, and sacrificed his life for his country. His last word was a prayer for a prolongation of his life to battle her cause. But

 

"The oar of victory, the plume, the wreath,

Defend not from the bolt of fate the brave;

No note the clarion of renown can breathe

To alarm the long night of the grave,

Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming

 

HON. VOLNEY FRENCH

 

was born in Maidstone, and is the youngest son of Major Hains French. His early advantages for an education were very limited, being only those derived from a common school two or three months in the year, at the distance of nearly two miles from his home. But storms and bad roads had no terrors for him. He is remembered here as a close student, more intent on mastering the tasks of the school-room than joining in the usual sports of the scholars, with the excep­tion of a favorite amusement—that of skat­ing—of which he was always fond whenever tempted by the smooth crystal surface of the Connecticut. From Maidstone he pur­sued his academic studies at Concord, Vt., and Lancaster and Meriden, N. H., and

 

 

                                                              MAIDSTONE.                                                 1041

 

thence he entered the University of Vermont. His health and means failing, he left Burlington and entered the law office of Messrs. Gay & Buchan, at Rochester, N. Y. Here he stopped three years and finished his pro­fession. During all this time he was entirely dependent upon his own exertions for the means of subsistence. Frequently, it is said, his exchequer was so low that he was obliged to live in a garret on crackers and cheese. In 1840 he joined the army of emigrants that were moving on to settle the West. He has ever been regarded as an upright lawyer and a successful practitioner. Among other offices which he has held he has been twice elected judge of his own county. By strict integrity and close application to business, he acquired in a few years a competency; but having more taste for literary pursuits than the legal profession, some years since he closed his books and his office door. In the fall of 1854 he left for the old world, and spent two years in traveling through some of the most interesting portions of Europe, Asia and Africa.

From one of his published letters, written at Thebes, in Upper Egypt, the following extract is made to show the extent of his travels and researches:

 

"There is one thing." he says. "that I have aimed at—variety of matter, for there is so much material I had only to choose my subject. I described to the reader a winter passage over the ocean,—the commercial city of Southampton, and then Paris with all its splendors, its gayeties, its dissipation, its churches and works of art. I then took him through the valley of the Rhone, calling at Nice and Genoa, to the eternal city, Rome— the home of the Cæsars—and pointed out to him her palaces, her churches, and all the places within her of great historic interest. Leaving the sepulchers of the great dead here and the catacombs of the poor persecuted Christians, I took him to Naples and showed him the buried cities of Pompeii and Hercula­neum; ascended Vesuvius, descended to Aver­nus and passed over the shadowy Styx. With the sun we went northward, not for getting to call at beautiful Florence and take a ride in the gondolas of Venice, along the canals bordered by her marble palaces. Strik­ing over the German plains by battle-fields and castles—famous in legend and song—we arrived at the Baltic, took a hasty peep at Stockholm, and the lovely Malaar lake, and thence passed over to Norway—the New England of Europe—and saw her cool and limpid streams, her ever-green hills, lakes and mountains. But night here had become day, and we hastened towards Switzerland. Here, if the reader caught half the inspiration which I felt, he must have been pleased with the cataract, the glacier, the avalanche and the crevices, down into which the chamois, bred in the mountain-tops, looked with dread. Psiasng into Italy once more, we glided over two of the most beautiful sheets of water the eye can rest on—lakes Maggiore and Como; recrossed the Alps into the Tyrol, heard the chime bells of Salsburg, that once each day recalled the memory of Mozart, and halted for a week in Munich. Thence we went through the whole valley of the Danube, passed over the Black Sea and found ourselves in the land of the Orient. From thence to ancient Alexandria, by Athens and Smyrna; and from thence, passing by ruined temples and cities, up the Nile to this place, a point up­wards of a thousand miles from the sea. Thus roaming through parts of the four con­tinents within forty degrees of latitude and one hundred and ten of longitude, learning the history of the countries passed, and the manners and customs of the people, visiting the palaces of the great, and the huts of the poor, the tombs of kings and emperors and the pit prepared for the pilgrim."

 

From here Mr. F. visited Syria and Pales­tine, and thence again through the Mediter­ranean and Italy to Belgium and Holland, and afterwards spent four months in traveling through Great Britain. At Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Jordan, he spent some weeks. While at the former place he visited the Holy Sepulcher. Of what he saw in it he says:

 

"The main object of attraction in the whole building, and around which there is always a great crowd, is what is called the sepulcher itself. This is a small but beauti­ful temple-like building, standing in the center of the church. The marble material of which it is built has a rosy hue, and was brought from the Dead Sea. Led by a priest, we entered the holy of holies. We were here shown the stone (according to tradition) on which the angel sat; also the stone that was laid against the door of the sepulcher. Stoop­ing, we were again conducted to another inner room, flooded with lights from lamps of gold which are continually burning, con­taining the sarcophagus into which the body of Christ was placed after the crucifixion. From here we next descended to the vault hewed out of the solid rock, where was shown the sepulchered vault of Joseph of Arimathea. From here we were taken into various parts of the church, both above and below, and were shown the place where the Saviour was confined previous to his cruci­fixion—the stone on which he sat while being crowned—the place where his garments were parted—the pillar on which he sat during his flagellation—the fissure in the rocks that were rent in twain—the room in

 

 

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which Mary, his mother, sat during the crucifixion; and, lastly, the place where the Empress Helena found, among a pile of rub­bish, the true cross. The latter place was in a subterranean vault, many feet under the church, but brilliantly lighted with lamps. The crowds of processions moving solemnly along in various directions, with different orders of priests, the chanting of music, accompanied by the deep tones of the organ, the flitting past of spectral shadows of pale men and women, whose constant vigils make them appear to belong more to the dead than living, the low and sepulchral voices of the half-famished beggars that ask for alms,— all taken together invest the place with a reverential awe that cannot be easily effaced from the memory. But those who excited my sympathy and pity the most, were the poor worn out pilgrims who had come from foreign lands to see the spot where their Redeemer died, breathing on their lips from their hearts—

 

'Blest land of Judea! thrice hallowed of song,

Where the holiest of memories pilgrim-like throng;

In the shade of the palms, by the shores of the sea,

On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is with thee.'

 

These poor creatures, with wasted limbs, blanched cheeks and sunken eyes, would be there early and late upon their bonded knees; and, from their earnest looks and anxious countenances, I have not the least reason to doubt the sincerity and earnestness of their devotions."

As has been before said, Mr. F. still resides in Wisconsin, enjoying his "otium cum dig­nitate" with that ease and independence only known to cultivated minds.

 

DR. JOHN DEWEY.

 

BY WM. HEYWOOD, ESQ., OF LANCASTER, N. H. *

 

Dr. John Dewey, for many years a resi­dent of Guildhall, and before his death for many years a resident of Maidstone, was one of the remarkable men of Essex County. He was born at Hanover, N. H., Dec. 5, 1794. He received his education in the common schools and academy of his native town, and was educated in his profession mainly under the tuition of Dr Nathan Smith. Dr. Smith was a professor in the medical college, and a man of great learning and skill in his pro­fession. Dr. Dewey received his medical degree from Dartmouth College, and com­menced the practice of his profession when very young, in Eaton, in Canada. He re­mained there till he was attacked with a disease in his eyes, which for a time threat­ened him with blindness. After recovering from this infliction, he established himself for a time at New Chester, now Hill, N. H., thence he removed to Lancaster, N. H., and about 1822 he established himself at Guild­hall. For nearly twenty years he was the leading physician in this section. Here he became a practitioner of large experience and great skill and judgment. No man was more relied upon in cases of difficulty and danger. It was, I think, in the year 1824, that a terrible disease in the form of dysentery visited this section of country, and the mortality was very great. During this sickness, which continued for nearly two months, Dr. Dewey was constantly upon the ride and in attendance upon the sick, and for weeks did not take off his clothes to lie down for a night's sleep. And it was universally considered that he treated the disease with success and skill.

He gave up his profession as a business about 1840, upon becoming involved in busi­ness of other kinds that required his whole time. He was married to Mary P., daughter of Capt. Thos. Carlisle, of Lancaster, N. H., in February, 1832. In 1841 he moved to a beautiful farm in Maidstone, where from his door he could overlook 200 acres of good interval, part of his possessions; and here ten years later, when unthought-of things come to pass, he could see for miles on the opposite side of the Connecticut River the cars of the Grand Trunk Railroad as they passed to and fro from the chief city of Maine to the chief city of Canada. Here he and his accomplished wife kept a most hos­pitable home; and many have been the times that acquaintances far and near have assem­bled there to enjoy such entertainment as no one else could dispense,—for the Doctor, besides his liberality, had the manners of an accomplished gentleman; and he was also a man of fine proportions and presence. The stranger also from city or country who might chance to stop in the neighborhood was sure to be invited to partake of their hospitalities. And there was no ostentation in this, but such generosity was a character­istic. And the poor never went hungry from his door,—many have been the bagsfull and the basketsfull and the back-loads with which the destitute of his neighborhood have been loaded from his stores.

Dr. Dewey was a. man of extraordinary perseverance and great energy of character. In politics he was a whig, and later a repub

———

* A native of Essex Co.

 

 

                                                              MAIDSTONE.                                                 1043

 

lican, and it never was with half assent that he supported and advocated the measures of his party. I find for certain that for 12 years he was a member of the Legislature of Vermont, and as I have not full access to means of information, I am not sure but that he was longer. His first election was to the House in 1826, and his last to the Senate in 1851. He was also for several years judge of the county court, a member of the coun­cil of censors, and for several years he received appointments from the Legislature, such as director of the state prison, &c. The Doctor was able in debate, and many of his speeches would be a credit to any debater and worthy of any legislative body. But of these nothing remains but in the memory of hearers, as in those days—and it is mostly so now—none of the debates of that body were reported. In the course of his business he accumulated in his hands a large amount of lands, consisting of many thousand acres in Essex county and in the adjoining county of Coos in N. H. To pay the taxes annually on so large an amount of unproductive prop­erty absorbed quite an income. To most persons it seemed that he misjudged in his expectation that these would some day be­come very valuable. But the event has proved the correctness of his judgment. In the latter part of his business-life he had met with many losses. But the increase of the value of timber has made these wild lands valuable, and these were left to his family, and make an ample estate.

Dr. Dewey entered into the support of the government with zeal to put down the rebel­lion, and lent every aid in his power to that end.

In a summer evening he rode to the house of a neighbor, where in course of a talk upon political affairs he became excited, not from opposition (for in political opinion they did not differ), and on his way home he was attacked by a paralysis of the brain, and when he arrived home he was insensible, and was carried into the house and died the next morning, which was July 11, 1862.

No man in all the community could be more widely missed. It is always remarked how soon the community adjust themselves to the loss of any individual, no matter how great a space he may have occupied in the business and affairs of his section of country. But to the family and near friends of such a man the void does not close, and every day those that depended upon him feel that no one else can perform for them what he was accustomed to do, nor make whole the circle broken by his being taken away.

 

MAIDSTONE LAKE.

 

This beautiful sheet of water is situated near the western boundary of the town. It is three miles in length and one in width. Its waters are clear, deep and silvery, con­taining a species of trout called lunge. In 1853 a dam was made at the outlet, and the waters raised 6 feet, affording the most desirable water-power. At the same time a saw-mill was erected by Mr. Norris, which has manufactured large quantities of lumber, and is now in operation.

This lake is surrounded entirely by a forest of pine, spruce and hemlock. On the eastern side of the lake, near the base of a hill, is a cave which is occasionally visited by ex­plorers of nature's wonders, some of whom have traversed its subterranean passage to the distance of 200 feet.

This portion of the town, of about five thousand acres, is very well adapted to cultivation and improvement is covered with pine, spruce and hemlock, interspersed with birch, cedar, and rock-maple, and is watered by Paul stream, which has its rise in Granby and Ferdinand; running east and receiving the waters of the lake, finds its way through the corner of Brunswick, and empties into Connecticut river. This stream embraces superior mill-privileges, and undoubtedly is not surpassed in northern Vermont.

In 1854 a large saw-mill was erected on this stream, in Maidstone, which annually manufactures 2,000,000 feet of lumber, which goes over the Grand Trunk railway to Port­land market. Both the above mills are owned by the firm of Brown and Follansby.

There are two smaller saw-mills in town; one on the mill brook, built the past season on the site of an old one useless from age, by Z. K. Washburn; the other, on a small brook on the farm of James Follansby, and is now owned by J. Follansby & Joseph Rich. The first saw-mill in town was built on this brook by Moody Rich, in 1828.

This town is particularly rich in interval land, having more acres, it is said, than any other town in Vermont, on Connecticut river, and is almost exclusively an agricultural town.

 

 

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The village of Guildhall being near the line between that town and Maidstone, ac­commodates one as well as the other with mechanics' stores, post office, church, &c., ac.

 

REMINISCENCE OF MAIDSTONE.

 

Historic little Maidstone, birth place of heroes (see Biography), located picturesquely up toward the highlands, or upon the upper banks of the fair Connecticut, is, for loveli­ness of landscape, unsurpassed in all Switzer­land-like New England. Beautiful Maidstone! we had not looked to find another such picture-spot as Chimney Point, where resides Judge Strong, our historian, who opens the series of the Addison County towns in this volume. We came one mild, sweet day in autumn to the home of the honorable historian of Maidstone—happy dweller upon the Connecticut, upon his farm, four bows in the great river infolding, and he the only man in the town who was living when it was organ­ized. Here we lingered several days,—here, and in the delightful family of the intellectual, social, venerable Dr. Dewey and his no less superior and excellent wife. The venerable Doctor resided a mile or two higher or further up the river bank than our venerable Maidstone historian—one or two miles further up, the ground gradually rising as you go up. The Doctor dwelling in patriarchal simplic­ity, almost, in his low wood-brown farm­house, and he the largest landholder in Es­sex county. He has since died.* The Doctor was well known at Montpelier, the state capitol. We had been specially recommended to him for a friend to our historical enter­prise in his county before we entered Essex, and we had met him at Guildhall, and he had invited us to his home and hospitality before we reached Maidstone. He was the finest spirit we met in all that tour. He had a fine, thoughtful countenance, and his hair was very white. Yes, he had as handsome white hair and beard as we ever saw. It was long and heavy, rather, and snowy. His face was venerable—intelligent, highly, somewhat en­thusiastic—had been touched with a forecast. It was the first year of the great national struggle, or Southern rebellion, and his quick, sympathetic spirit had already familiarized— recognized and seen what was coming—or looked at least into the thick of those days coming on so ripe with battles and assassinations and treason. Yet his face beamed very serenely through the clouding, and his voice—the voice is always very much like the face—was genial and inspiring. There he lived. The one-story, weather-colored house sitting upon a little elevation upon your left as you came up toward, and to which a narrow path wound familiarly up, rather pleased at first, as making no effort to divert from the beauty of the eastern landscape developing upon the river bank upon the right an the way as you came up, bursting upon you or unfolding in new picturesqueness and loveliness here, though culminating rather at a point a little lower down. One of those bows, already alluded to,** in the Connecticut, five bows which from the summit of Byron mountain in this town, are said to distinctly write out or trace in the meadows of Maidstone the text of freedom and creed of Vermont—Union. We would stay forever! Such was the feeling—impression—effect—such the attraction—earth, air, river, meadows in the sun, mountains over beyond, those famous white giants of New Hampshire, just far enough distanced in landscape, seen at their best advantage here, if we except one view from Lunenburgh—and that but for its fuller and more majestic sweep and a little bolder rise in the mountain outlines. Fair Maidstone—but it wants the pen of a Harriet Beecher Stowe, the same as which in her "Pearl of Orr's Island" she traced the Maine coast—mosses and evergreens. We might have been a poet had we have been born here, and the history of Maidstone yet have remained unwritten; or had we lived in classic days, those same days when the same muse presided over poetry and history. But as it is and was, we went into the little low-roofed house on the swell of the bank on our left, up that inviting, simple, narrow path, and within the lowly door, to be sort of imparadised in those little comforts, aye, luxuries, that may sometimes be found to line the so simple looking farm-house or cottage, outwardly. The cozy, open fireplace was so inviting, the turkey roasted so deliciously, the cranberries so fresh, and then the low chamber-room where you slept had such little, soft carpeted stairs winding soon and quietly up thereto, and so bright paperings therein, wall and curtains, such cheerful red quilts and rugs

—————

* See page 1042

** See County Chapter—Scenery of the Connecticut, by H. A. Cutting.

 

 

                                                                VICTORY.                                                    1045

 

and cushions, &c., &c. You found the house so like a bird's nest—brown without but feather-lined within; you visited so good below, and slept so good above, you concluded these people in Essex about the happiest people in the world.—Editor.

 

[More names who were inhabitant's in Maidstone, Vt., in the year 1786: Caleb Amy, John Rich, James Lucas, Enoch Hall, Jeremy Merrell, John Hugh, John French,—Tory, Hains French, Benjamin Byrum, Joseph Wooster, Reuben Hawkins, Abraham Gile.]

 

MAIDSTONE VOLUNTEERS.

 

Names.                                  Co.                  Regt.         When enlisted.

John J. Rich,                          I                       3                April, 1861.

Horace H. Rich,                       I                       3                April, 1861.

Jos. W. Taylor,*                      I                       3                April, 1861.

Jos. Hinman,*                         I                       3        November, 1861.

Moody B. Rich,                        I                       3        November, 1861.

Wm. J. S. Dewey,                    I                       3       September, 1862.

Charles Ford,*                        I                       3       September, 1862.

Albee Elliott,*                          I                       3       September, 1862.

Geo. England,*                        I                       3       September, 1862.

Fred England,*                       I                       3       September, 1862.

Wm. W. Walker,                      I                       3       September, 1862.

L. C. Luther,                                                               January, 1864.

Pat. Gleason,                                                              January, 1864.

Wm. W. Walker,*                                                        January, 1864.

Jos. H. Watson,                      I                       3              March, 1864.

John J. Rich*                          I                       3              March, 1864.

E. B. Smith,*                           I                       3              March, 1864.

Geo. A. Ford,                           I                       3              March, 1864.

Charles Keeney,                                                      September, 1864.

J. M. Lund,                                                             September, 1864.

And'w J. Pottle,                      K                      8       September, 1864.

John Shallop,                         I                       3

 

 

——————————

 

 

VICTORY.

 

BY GEO. A. APPLETON.

 

Victory, a town situated in the south­western portion of Essex Co., is in lat. 44° 32', lon. 5° 5'; bounded N. W. by Burke and Kirby, N. E. by Granby and East Haven, S. E. by Lunenburg and Concord, and R W. by Concord and Kirby.

It was designed originally to contain 23,040 acres, and a tract of land lying be­tween Victory and Concord—known as Brad­ley's Vale—by an act of the Legislature of 1856 being divided and a portion annexed to Victory, it now contains about 2500 acres more than its original territory.

It was granted Nov. 8, 1780, and chartered Sept. 6, 1781, to Capt. Ebenezer Fisk and 64 associates, reserving 5 rights of 300 acres, viz. the college right, grammar school right, minister's right, church right and common school right.

The surface is diversified, but though liter­ally surrounded by ranges of mountains it is not comparatively very uneven, a large portion of the town being included in the valley of the Moose river. But as the dis­tance increases from the river, the land be­comes more elevated, until it forms a portion of Burke mountain on the west, an elevation of some 3,000 feet; Mount Tug and Miles' mountain on the E. and S. E., and Kirby mountain on the S. W.

There is also an elevation on the north, on the line between Victory and Granby called Round Top There is but one mountain, proper, wholly within the limits of the town—Umpire mountain, an elevation of about 2000 feet.

 

STREAMS.

 

The Moose river rises in East Haven, and runs in nearly a southerly direction through the town, affording several excellent mill privileges. Here was once the hunting-ground of the Indian, and, in later years the game with which their forests abounded, was pursued and taken by the white man. So numerous were the moose which once roamed over these hills and through this valley, that the river was called "Moose river." There are also several other streams which empty into this river, as Alder brook, Umpire or Bog brook on the west, Granby stream on the east, which are sufficiently large for manufacturing purposes.

The timber along the banks of the Moose river, and its tributaries is mostly evergreen, consisting of pine tamarack, hemlock, spruce, fir, and cedar: together with a small quan­tity of elm, maple and birch. As the land becomes elevated there is a much larger pro­portion of the timber hard wood, consisting of birch, beech and sugar maple; and in some sections, especially in the west part of the town, there is a very large proportion of the latter, affording excellent sugar orchards, from which considerable quantities of sugar are manufactured.

The soil is generally fertile, and will com­pare favorably with adjoining towns. It is well adapted to the growing of potatoes, and most kinds of English grains.

In some parts of the town there is an abundance of granite, while other portions are comparatively free from stone of any kind, and there is but a very small proportion of the town which can properly be considered

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* Names with star attached, died in the service.